Fraser High band to perform at college football bowl game

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published November 24, 2015

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FRASER — For the second time in nearly a decade, the Fraser High School marching band will perform at halftime during a college football bowl game.

The Ramblers will join other marching bands from around the country by performing at the Russell Athletic Bowl, which is held in Orlando, Florida.

The band last performed in 2006 during the Chic-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia, and has also participated in America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade five times.

The Fraser High School marching band has been the largest band in District 16 of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, or MSBOA. It received a First Division rating for the 15th consecutive year at the MSBOA Marching Band Festival. There are currently 245 band members.

James Rodgers, a Fraser instructor for 21 years, said the school applied to participate through the Worldstrides OnStage performance program, which sponsors the event.

According to the Worldstrides website, the program provides world-class performance opportunities in music, drama and dance. It also gives entities the opportunity to play and compete in some of the most storied settings in the United States and worldwide, through the benefit of renowned conducters, adjudicators and choreographers.

After the high school submitted an application — along with a photograph and video of the band’s performances — the band was accepted to participate.

“This is an awesome opportunity,” Rodgers said. “The bowl games are such high-profile events — with the excitement of the game, the national television coverage and the thousands of people who attend the game and performance, this event is high on the list.”

It won’t be all work and no play, though. The students will do some sightseeing in conjunction with rehearsals, as well as spend a couple of days at Universal Studios and participate in the Macy’s Holiday Parade.

“The students are extremely excited,” he said. “We are working hard on the music and the color guard choreography that we need to learn for the halftime performance, and we are also preparing to march in the Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal Studios while we are in Orlando.”

The band plans to arrive in Orlando Dec. 27, and then will depart the city late on Dec. 30 so the students and personnel can arrive back in Fraser on New Year’s Eve before midnight.